Glen­cor­mac march on

Hard-fought win over Ark­low United se­cures fi­nal spot

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - ERIC MELIA at Ry­der’s Field

GLEN­COR­MAC ad­vanced to the fi­nal of the Chal­lenge Cup with a hard-fought vic­tory over Ark­low United at Ry­der’s Field last Sun­day morn­ing.

Oisin Kelly and Kieran Grif­fiths scored for the Glens ei­ther side of a strike from United’s Tadhg Pow­ell to give the north Wick­low side vic­tory.

It was Ark­low who started on the front foot with some pre­cise pass­ing and move­ment stretch­ing the Kil­mac side early on.

Jamie Gre­han was out­stand­ing at the back in the early stages. One slide tackle in par­tic­u­lar ex­em­pli­fy­ing his com­mit­ment to the cause

With United’s winger Dan Fox show­ing trick­ery but the fi­nal ball just let­ting the side down.

The first chance of note was pro­vided by Glen­cor­mac winger Bradley Cullen who took on his man and lofted a ball into the area, how­ever Oisin Kelly trying to head with power just put it over.

It was a tem­po­rary re­prieve for United as from the next at­tack Glen­cor­mac broke the dead lock.

Aaron Kil­lick de­liv­ered a beau­ti­ful free kick into the heart of the United area and amongst a plethora of bod­ies Kelly man­aged to get the de­ci­sive touch to power be­yond keeper Sean Mur­phy.

With Cullen pro­vid­ing a con­stant at­tack­ing out­let Glen­cor­mac shaded the rest of the half, one such at­tack saw mid­field en­forcer Mickey Mur­rey scyth­ing the at­tacker down as he was look­ing dan­ger­ous. From an­other Kil­lick free kick Kelly went close again but was inches off target.

The Glens kept push­ing for the sec­ond goal, from a Kieran Grif­fiths cor­ner Cullen bul­leted a header off the post from the re­sult­ing scram­ble Kelly had an ef­fort blocked on the line and Ark­low man­aged to clear.

Ark­low’s best ef­forts were from dis­tance with Mur­rey hav­ing a rasper saved at the sec­ond at­tempt by keeper Char­lie Ward.

Just be­fore half time good Ark­low press­ing led to a mis­take in the Glen­cor­mac de­fence.

Jack Ka­vanagh and Piotr Pancezko com­bined to cre­ate an open­ing for Faysal Muse whose firm header only lo­cated Ward who was po­si­tioned per­fectly to save.

Adam Dut­ton the Glen­cor­mac left back was to the fore in this pe­riod bring­ing a cool head and com­po­sure to re­lieve the pres­sure be­fore the break.

On the re­sump­tion Glens mid­fielder Mar­cel Ka­ca­jda was des­per­ately un­lucky to nod an ef­fort onto the frame of post and cross­bar.

Ark­low were com­ing more into it though and were re­warded with the equaliser six min­utes into the sec­ond half. Fox cut in­side but un­der pres­sure the ball ran loose to cen­tre back Tadhg Pow­ell and his low right footed ef­fort from 20 yards beat Ward be­fore go­ing in off the post.

Min­utes later Pow­ell had an­other ef­fort from dis­tance this time with his left boot which Ward saved, Muse was onto the re­bound how­ever his ef­fort was mirac­u­lously saved by Ward who touched onto the post and Ka­ca­jda cleared.

An­other snap­shot from Muse saw Ward worked again but the Glens keeper was equal to it.

With 16 min­utes left the Glens re­took the lead. Ro­nan Byrne lifted a ball into the Ark­low area and some­how Kieran Grif­fiths flicked a vol­ley over his shoul­der and into the cor­ner of Sean Mur­phy’s net.

Ark­low came back with re­newed vigour. Conor Ga­han headed a chance over, Pow­ell had an­other ef­fort blocked away.

In the fi­nal five min­utes Ark­low had more chances, Niall Dempsey had a driven ef­fort blocked away by Ward and Fox had a daisy cut­ter cleared by the Glen­cor­mac cus­to­dian as their time ran out.

An ex­cit­ing game be­tween two well matched sides. Ark­low had some great per­for­mances es­pe­cially from Tadhg Pow­ell, Jack Ka­vanagh and Dan Fox.

For the vic­tors Mar­cel Ka­ca­jda, Adam Dut­ton and Aaron Kil­lick ex­celled. How­ever, man of the match was Char­lie Ward. He made a num­ber of out­stand­ing saves and manned his area like an aux­il­iary sweeper.

In the sec­ond semi-fi­nal Rath­new re­ceived a walk-over from Cool­boy Rangers who were un­able to field a team.

Dan Fox of Ark­low United tries to get past Glen­cor­mac’s Adam Dut­ton.

Glen­cor­mac’s Bradley Cullen closes in on Mikey Mur­ray of Ark­low United.

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